The Cat Not Using
Litter Box Problem

"Did you recently change her litter?"

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If you're having some issues with your cat not using litter box, pan or her designated "bathroom area," then one of the things you need to look at is the type of litter you use.

You may need to consider an alternative to what you're using especially if you have an older cat as you'll see below.

Remember that even though you may want to try out something new on the aware that if your cat doesn't like it, she will voice her opinion by rejecting her litter box.

Some cats just don't like changes or the rejection may also be due to her current litter irritating her sensitive paws.

Whenever your cat stops using the litter pan...she's trying to tell you that something is wrong.

Is your cat not using litter box, pan or her bathroom area?

If you've completely ruled out that her cat litter is not the problem then please check the cat litter training page for a list of other common issues related to litter box rejection.

Litter box issues with cats can either be medical or behavioral so please do have your vet evaluate your furry friend to rule out any medical issues as some can be life threatening.

So how can cat litter cause litter box problems?

  • Your cat may not like the texture of the litter

  • Too rough on her sensitive paws

  • She may not like the smell/fragrance

I'll give you a great example of cat litter causing litter box rejection.. My coworker has a cat named "William." William happens to be an elderly cat and my coworker has had him for about 5 years now.

At first everything was fine until his owner decided to "go green," and switched to a more eco-friendly, natural kitty litter. She started with one of the pine varieties and continued to buy it, regardless of it being pricier than the clays.

Over time she noticed that her cat would sometimes urinate outside his box in certain areas of the house.

After cleaning the area thoroughly to be rid of urine odors with a good enzymatic solution.. the same thing would happen all over again.

After a lot of frustration and unsure of what the problem could be, she switched back to buying clay litter. She was amazed to find out that William's litter box problems vanished with the clay.

Her cat continues to use his litter box happily and my coworker reports he hasn't gone outside his litter box since then.

She laughed about it one day saying.. "If I would have known all this time that he preferred the cheap clay litter.. I wouldn't have wasted so much money on the expensive pine brand!"

Just remember that any abrupt changes or even gradual changes to his litter can cause one of those "cat not using litter box problems." In William's case, he used the "new and improved" natural litter for a while and then started to not like it very much.

While you may wish to change litter brands, your cat may dislike it and she is the one who ultimately decides.

When you make litter changes like this always, always document the change so if things start to go wrong, you can switch your cat back to what she likes.

Do YOU have a "cat not using litter box" story or problem you've solved?

Litter box problems are one of the top reasons that cats get sent to animal shelters. Some shelters (not all) have to euthanize the animals due to overcrowding.

You might be able to help save a life by sharing your experience, so please do so here if you have something to say or need some help.

I'll post it on my cat litter training page so that other cat lovers can learn from it.

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